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November 25, 2013ROSWELL, Ga. – As the world's busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson has more than 920,000 flights per year and 250,000 average daily passengers.
"You can get to almost anywhere in the world by going through Hartsfield-Jackson, which is very important to us," said Louis E. Miller, the aviation general manager of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Miller addressed members of the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce at their monthly Eggs and Enterprise Breakfast at the DoubleTree Hotel in Roswell on Nov. 19.
Though Hartsfield-Jackson airport may be the busiest, it also has one of the smallest campuses at only 4,700 acres, which Miller said is probably the airport's greatest shortcoming.
To put that in perspective, Dallas Fort Worth Airport has 17,000 acres.
Miller said they were working to use the space they have to make it best work for the community.
Miller, former executive director and chief executive officer of Tampa International Airport, spoke about issues relating to the economic impact of Hartsfield-Jackson, the new $1.4 billion international terminal, changes that are being made and the overall airport master plan.
"We have to maximize the use of the land that we have," he said.
They are also working on a vertical transportation system, which will include the replacement of 48 escalators, 45 elevators and 16 moving sidewalks. All airport operations will continue to run throughout the project, which is expected to be finished by 2016.
Miller added that most importantly, the airport creates jobs.
He said it provides $32 billion in direct regional economic impact and provides 58,000 jobs on site, which is responsible for $16 billion in economic impact.
Companies like to relocate to the Atlanta area, Miller said, because the airport allows them to get their employees throughout the country and the world easily.
And he said they are working to make the airport environmentally sustainable with the help of a new management plan.
"We're going to do everything we can to make it better environmentally," Miller said. "We want to compress the use of natural gas and have more energy lights – overall, our goal is to reduce energy usage by 20 percent between now and 2021."
He added that charging stations for electronic cars will soon be installed into the parking garage.
Additionally, Miller said a new runway would be built sometime in the future, but that it won't be needed operationally for at least 15 years.
The airport is also working to expand parking.
"We will continue working on the airport, so it will serve our community well going forward," Miller said.